Booksellers purchase books from wholesalers and publishers to sell to the public.

What does a bookseller do?

Working in bookshops of all sizes, booksellers help customers with enquiries and orders, as well as being responsible for stock control.

  • You’ll be responsible for offering advice, answering enquiries and ordering books for customers.
  • You may be in charge of stock control and identifying popular trends in the market.
  • There will also be administrative tasks involved, which could include some accounting, distribution, organising deliveries and dealing with returns.
  • If you work for a specialist bookshop, you may also be working closely with teaching staff from local schools, colleges and universities to make sure relevant text books are in stock.

What do I need to do to become a bookseller?

If you love books and have a broad range of reading interests, this job could be ideal. Some prior experience in retail sales, customer service or working in a library would be beneficial.

If you want to open your own bookshop, you will need to develop strong business skills and gain a good understanding of the publishing and bookselling industry.

Related skills

  • Administration
  • Communication
  • Customer service
  • Interpersonal skills
  • IT
  • Literacy
  • Organisation
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • GCSEs (A-C) in English and maths

Vocational route

  • Level 2 BTEC retail knowledge qualifications

Related subjects

  • English
  • Maths

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You might work in a small independent bookstore, or a larger chain.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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